Breast cancer awareness is big business

Verónica Bayetti Flores, “Are mainstream breast cancer awareness initiatives hurting more than they’re helping?,” Feministing, April 29 2013

Yesterday the New York Times featured an article in its Sunday magazine about breast cancer, awareness initiatives, and what the real effects these initiatives have had on the lives of women. It’s on the longer side, but one that’s framed around the personal narrative of the author – a breast cancer survivor herself – and well worth a read:

Just about everywhere I go — the supermarket, the dry cleaner, the gym, the gas pump, the movie theater, the airport, the florist, the bank, the mall — I see posters proclaiming that “early detection is the best protection” and “mammograms save lives.” But how many lives, exactly, are being “saved,” under what circumstances and at what cost? Raising the public profile of breast cancer, a disease once spoken of only in whispers, was at one time critically important, as was emphasizing the benefits of screening. But there are unintended consequences to ever-greater “awareness” — and they, too, affect women’s health.

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